Just a brief note. Every so often something comes along that genuinely surprises me. Today, I was banned from /r/WikiInAction, without warning and supposedly for contacting Gamaliel’s employers for comment about my recent article. Thing is, in private WikiInActions moderators have known and supported my actions for months.
Last December I published an article about a RationalWiki moderator called Gooniepunk. Some applauded, some condemned me for ‘doxing’ for revealing his real world identity. I think it can be ethical journalism to reveal the true identity of anonymous internet types.
Someone posted my article on WikiInAction. It was left up for a day or two then removed. I got a nice email from a WikiInAction moderator. Turns out they loved it, “We 100% back the blog post you made […]” and only took it down because they were directly contacted by the administrators of Reddit. So no problem with doxing. However, they did ask me to avoid such details in future posts if I wanted to post them in the subreddit.
We continued to liaise. The moderators of WikiInAction have known for months I had contacted Gamaliel’s employers for comment on an article. We even had conversations speculating about the death threats Gamaliel had received.
I had initially held off my post about Gamaliel out of pity for him and only changed my mind when he contacted David Auerbach’s employers. I discussed with the moderators whether I could publish my article, which as they say confirmed I had contacted Gamaliel’s employers. We agreed it would risk breaking Reddit rules but it could be promoted by my ‘acolytes’ mentioning it was up on my site. They had no problem with promoting it. You will notice the distinct absence of comments like, “No! No! Don’t do it! You will be banned!”
So the post today was deeply deceitful. The moderators of WikiInAction have backed me to the hilt on this, until today, 6 days after I last posted I find myself banned in a bizarre pseudo-show-trial, exactly as ArbCom banned the Devil’s Advocate.
As The Devil’s Advocate did with ArbCom I messaged them asking them if there was any aspect of my behaviour I could change to avoid a Wikipedia style life ban. The only reply was a link to the post announcing the ban.
Like the Devil’s Advocate I have tried to be conciliatory. Unlike him I am not going to waste my life asking to be unbanned by a moderately sized forum that does not want me. I am going to set the record straight and move on. Obviously the forgoing demonstrates that the /r/WikiInAction moderators are willing to flout and manipulate Reddit rules to promote doxing when it suits them. Not to mention that, yes, the subreddit does use sock puppets to inflate its membership.
I have no idea what happened today, but to be clear it has nothing to do with the /r/WikiInAction moderators objecting to my contacting Gamaliel’s employer.